I've seen a couple of variations of Christmas tree decorations made of ornaments on Pinterest, but wanted to tweak the idea and make it into a light feature. So, I created an LED light box covered with screening, then hot-glued shatterproof green, silver and blue ornaments on top to create a striking decoration. It's been hanging on my front door for about three weeks now, and looks pretty nice from the street (as in, curb appeal) and up close.
My ornament tree door decoration is an alternative to the traditional wreath. You can make it tall and narrow or shorter and wider, depending on the size of your door. Ornament colors and styles are also up to you, although I recommend that you don't use glass ornaments. Here's why.
Another plus: it costs around $20 to make -- maybe less if you already have some of the supplies. Go ahead and light a fire (preferably in the fireplace) tonight, play some favorite holiday tunes, sip a little cider, and start working on this do-it-yourself decoration that will make make yours the best-dressed door in the neighborhood.
Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor
Happy Throwback Thursday! Today, we journey to sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, poolside, for a look at a slim pair of plastic Santa blow molds by Empire Plastics. What's a blow mold? Learn more, and enjoy this holiday trip across the United States to view blow molds on lawns and porches in all their glowing glory.
Photo © Larry, Tony and Brutus
Like everyone else, I've been busy the past few weeks preparing for the impending holidays. Shopping, is pretty much crossed off the "To Do" list.
But that's not all. I've been doing holiday-related DIY projects, and making sure our outdoor decorators are well-informed and equipped to tackle their dwellings with finesse. Lights were hung early at our house this year, and that doesn't mean we left them up all year. If you haven't had a chance, don't worry, we have it covered. Without further rambling, I give you:
- Wrapping Trees with Holiday Lights
- What are Net Lights?
- What are Rope Lights?
- What are Icicle Lights?
- A Guide to Outdoor Lights for the Holidays
- Resources for Christmas Light Displays and Decorations
- All About Decorating With Poinsettias
- Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights: Avoiding Disaster
- Quick and Easy Poinsettia Designs
- How to Recycle Holiday Lights
- Poinsettias: Fun Facts, Tips and Myths
And then there are other issues related to the upcoming holidays, guests, and winter in general. Hmmm--an outdoor fire pit (like where else would a fire pit be?) might make a nice gift: blatant hint with lots of winking. Consider these my early gifts to you:
Let me be the first to wish you...Happy Holidays!
Photo: Lisa Hallett Taylor
If you're going to hang lights for the holidays, the best time to do so would be this weekend. Make it easy: hang the lights on Saturday, then take them down no later than Saturday, January 4th, 2014.
It doesn't have to be a huge production. If this is your first time or you're making the switch to LED holiday lights, keep it simple. Follow these quick and easy step-by-step instructions to hang outdoor Christmas lights. And when you have the lights installed and decorations up, share them with us and we might include them in our gallery of outdoor holiday lights.
Photo by Lisa Hallett Taylor
For 16 years, since 1997, eco-minded Americans have been observing America Recycles Day each November 15th through public awareness, community and individual efforts.
So, go ahead and do it: Take the pledge.
Looking for a recycling or repurposing holiday project? Even if you weren't, why not try this fun DIY Christmas tree made out of a tomato cage? I came up with the idea for the project a few years ago when I went scavenging for stuff in my side yard (that gives you a mental picture of what my side yard looks like). I went for an unabashedly fake look, sort of Mad Men meets How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I've since seen other versions of tomato cage holiday trees -- each one is somewhat different. And that's the idea or spirit of the project -- create what you like. The important thing is that you are making an effort to repurpose or reuse.
You can start to do your part by spreading the news. Share this with friends and colleagues.
Part of the stress during the holidays can be financial -- if you are on a tight budget, even the idea of shopping for gifts can be anxiety inducing. If it helps, most people are in the same situation -- or have been -- so they understand the challenge and dismay of holiday gift planning and shopping.
In a perfect world, we don't care about how much things cost (price tag blindness?). So, if you're part of a gift exchange with a maximum of $25 -- or have less than that amount to spend on a gift for someone who loves his/her garden, patio or yard -- then you're in luck. The research and gift hunt has been done. Actually more were selected, then narrowed down. All you need to do is peruse this list of 25 ideas, then go shopping, either online or at an actual store.
Forget Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can get most of your shopping done early, allowing you to do other things, like eat leftovers, decorate your yard with lights, or hang out with friends and family. Let me know your favorite items on the list, or if something under $25 for home and garden lovers that you think should have made the list.
While your neighbors and friends have been ogling the fall leaf wreath you surely made -- thanks to our explicit instructions and those faux crows -- it's time to get to work on the holiday wreath. If you have double doors, you have a couple of choices: You can hang one wreath on your favorite door, which is a little weird. Or at least off-center. Who favors one of their double doors over the other? Choice No. 2 is to hang two wreaths -- one on each door, so neither will be left out. But should they be identical or just sort-of match?
Actually, we're all lucky if that's our biggest concern. We wish.
Photo & design: Lisa Hallett Taylor
Then there's this other idea I came up with. A large wreath placed smack-dab in the middle of the double doors, right over that crack. So when you open one of the doors, the wreath "magically" splits in half. Are you following me? Take a look at my instructions for a how-to split-door Christmas wreath. If you decide to do this project, I'd love to see your results!
Aren't you glad that Halloween is almost over? Sleazy costumes, wild parties, overindulging -- and that's just the children next door. Seriously, it's time to get your hardcore decorating self in shape for the year-end extravaganza that we all know as Christmas, or The Holidays.
Photo: Marla Showfer
What new sparkly, shiny things await us on the shelves of our favorite stores? Probably nothing unprecedented, but we wouldn't want it any other way. We all love our twinkling icicle lights, inflatable Santas and Mickeys and penguins doing all sorts of whimsical things, like pretend-setting their pants on fire (Santa in the chimney) or playing the perfect game for a snow storm in the yard with your reindeer -- Texas Hold 'Em (again, there is such an airblown decoration).
As you pack away your polyresin pumpkins tomorrow, visions of what and where you will decorate your house and yard for the holidays will incite you to buy Christmas decorations now. Like, right now. Having peeked at your decorating list, we know what you will want:
- Lighted blow mold outdoor holiday figurines (retro style)
- LED lights
- This year's best Inflatables -- a must for neighborhoods that decorate in a big, blown-up way.
Might as well hang the LED lights up too, while you're at it. Ho. Ho. Ho.
In Latin American countries and parts of the United States that border Mexico or have large Hispanic populations, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated November 1st and 2nd -- All Saints Day and All Souls Day -- with feasts honoring departed loved ones. Families and friends also create and decorate altars in their yards, homes or at cemeteries in honor of the deceased, using candles, plants, food, marigolds and other symbolic objects and images to celebrate the lives of their dearly departed loved ones.
Photo by Lisa Hallett Taylor
Some get a thrill from horror films or haunted houses, while others love the nerve-rattling nirvana that comes from procrastination. If you've left your Halloween decorating to Zero Hour, guess what? Zero Hour is banging ferociously at the door, along with wolves, devils and other demons.
Fear not, or, umm, enjoy the fear, and work through it with these do-it-yourself projects that you really should have started weeks ago. But, like the procrastinating pro you are, you can pull it off with great finesse. We have confidence in you -- sort of. Take another swig of your pumpkin spice latte and get to work on one of these gems:
- How to make faux moss (gooey and gross)
- How to make a fall wreath with pumpkins (fakes)
- Home haunt makeover (this will take a miracle)
- How to make ghosts float (you can do this)
- Borrow one of these ideas
- Or these from Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach, California
- Maybe something hauntingly beautiful
- If you're really ambitious, get inspired by a Vegas-style autumn display
Good luck with those projects, and don't forget to buy extra bags of candy for last-minute bursts of energy and inspiration.